On your mark, get set, FLAMINGO!

Welcome to the blog of a four-time finalist in the National Flamingo Racing Association.

“Is that a real association?” you ask. Well, I’d say that depends on your definition of “real.” 🙂 It has been in existence for over 30 years, and there’s a race every year that’s a pretty big deal to those who know about it. But it’s not exactly official. And the NFRA, as we like to call it, has almost zero web presence. It’s a bunch of family and friends getting together to have a BLAST at an event called Cornfest—because we eat corn, of course. I guess you could argue that it’s a little corny, too. Which makes it some of the best kind of fun.

“Are they real flamingoes that you race?” you may also ask. Well, that may also depend on your definition of “real.” They are very real flamingo marionettes, and they most definitely have personalities all their own. Take, for example, “Don’t Bug the Lady,” a black spotted red bird with a ‘tude. Or “Irish Eyes,” whose slightly inward-turned feet and rich heritage make her a wonderful racing flamingo. There’s “Ringo Flamingo,” sporting some sweet Beatles graphics and his very own drum, and the “Bird of Pray,” a bird complete with a nun’s habit and crucifix. I could seriously go on forever—there are well over 20 awesome racing birds to date—but I’ll just let you check out the youtube video whenever I get it finished. (Hopefully that will give you a better idea of what the heck I’m going on about, as well. There truly just are no words. Oh, and did I mention that there’s almost zero alcohol involved, as well? We’re just that ridiculously awesome.)

For now, as promised last post, I’ll just show you the bird I painted this year. She’s a “Wannabe.” Long story. But to truncate it (oh, how I wish that could have been a flamingo pun instead of a potential elephant one…useless), a few of my cousins and I who had never won decided we were “wannabe champions.” So we made t-shirts. One of us has gone on to win it all. I, on the other hand, have not…so I painted a wannabe champion bird to celebrate. 🙂 She was chosen to race in a majority of races this year, and she won a few of them, too! I was proud.

Lookin’ good, isn’t she? Simple but effective.

She’s based loosely on me…a few years ago I showed up to Cornfest decked out in my gray Wannabe t-shirt, black flip-flops & sunglasses, and, of course, neon pink tights under my shorts. (I didn’t feel that my flamingo friend needed the shorts.)

To be perfectly honest, it would probably be less fun to be a champion than a wannabe. But I won’t stop trying! There’s always next year!

Happy Cornfest! 😀

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